The Case Against Buying Netbooks

by Jay Bika on November 18, 2008 · 14 comments

in Featured,Netbook Buying Guide

    If you have fingers of an ogre, just forget about it!*

It may seem odd that a site that’s totally pro-netbooks would write an article on reasons why to stay away from netbook computers and avoid buying them at all costs. But in the spirit of bi-partisanship with the pro-laptop computer movement, I have to admit that mini-notebooks are not for everyone.

Here is why buying a netbook notebook may not necessarily the best option for you.

A netbook may not be you if you what I would call a power computer user.

If you’re into video production, gaming, music production or any computing tasks that require great processing power, a large and quality display and a full size keyboard and you opt for a netbook purchase, your life will be hell and that’s almost a guarantee.

Although subnotebooks claim to have the same features as laptops but in miniature version, they still will not be useful if you need to edit a video sequence that require a big screen or run music in the background.

Netbooks are not for power hungry computer users. It’s for those of us with basic computer usage such as web browsing, music listening, email messaging and Word document editing.

But if you are a creative computer user, you probably knew this before I even jotted down the first line of this article. But if you’re a novice to computers and a netbook would be your first purchase, beware! For instance, if you are a student and have just enrolled in sound engineering, know that your netbook will be no good to you if you are given an assignment. If you have a desktop at home or a laptop, you will be fine of course but don’t bet on the netbook notebook!

Like I wrote in the article entitled 7 Good Reasons to Buy a Netbook over a Laptop Computer, Business Week said that “The devices tend to feature cheaper processors, graphics chips, and displays, and they use less memory and older software”. If your computing usage requires you to have the most updated technology and software, stay away from netbooks at least from the current generations. I read that manufacturers are stepping up and doing a little bit of upgrades but that also means that the final price will be upgraded to the point where you may as well buy a full size laptop.

If you’re a writer and dream of sitting at the beach and write your novel, you better have a good pair of glasses and small fingers because they will come in handy. It’s one thing to write a 50 words email to a friend from a netbook but it’s a whole other game trying to do the same thing but the goal of writing a 50 000 words novel!

You will make yourself go crazy and those around you so, don’t do it!

In what other situations would I advocate against buying netbooks? Nothing else comes to mind at this moment. Please feel free to chime in by using the comments box below.

So to summarize, if you’re more than a casual computer user stay away from netbooks. If you have the money, you can use your laptop for those serious tasks and the netbook for the moments when you’re mobile and need to do casual stuff such as movie watching or check out what your friends have been up to by checking out their Facebook photos.

*Photo courtesy: Alex Cheek

{ 2 trackbacks }

7 Good Reasons to Buy a Netbook over a Laptop Computer
November 18, 2008 at 10:44 pm
Are Netbooks a Fad?
November 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve January 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Do any of them have ports for CD’s? If not, how does one input software from discs?

2 Jay Bika January 18, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Through external USB powered drives or nowadays you can download most software given that Internet connections are faster.

3 Pat Kennedy September 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Can I take it to Europe -Italy_ ? what will I need to do that?

4 Kirk Lawrence March 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Netbooks have no disc drives you have to go out and buy a portable disc drive that connects through USB 2.0

5 TWESIGOMWE GILBERT August 5, 2010 at 1:32 am

i have really enjoyed the articles on this website. I have really been guided because i was confused about whether to buy a laptop or a nebook. I am finally there, i know what to do now. thanks alot.

6 Jay Bika August 5, 2010 at 1:34 am

Thanks Twesigomwe, your comments are kindly appreciated :)

7 Anooj Pattni November 18, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Hello, thanks very much for the article on netbooks.

I wanted to know about the performance of netbooks when using the latest version of powerpoint……?

Please let me know what you think

8 MaryAnn November 29, 2010 at 10:52 am

I am looking for something to be able to view my digital photos on, as in bigger than the display on my camera, when on the go. Are the displays good enough and the processor capable? I don’t really want to carry the extra weight of even a 14″ laptop, and I have a perfectly good desktop at home for any post processing.

9 TWESIGOMWE GILBERT December 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

Mary, i think you could get a touch pad. Its extra portable and very light. I could compare it to a thin book. Try that.

10 Jimbo April 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I want to run my Squeezebox wireless music system downstairs meaning away from my main PC upstairs and am thinking about a Netbook. It would be connected to an external HD (preferably USB 3) where all of the music (in FLAC format) is stored. Its only other duty would be occasional web surfing. Is a netbook up to this task? Thanks.

11 ANYTAN July 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm

can a netbook run software like visual studio.net express editions?

12 Lisa August 27, 2011 at 5:44 am

Hi can anyone tell me are netbooks.good for someone starting college vs buying an actual laptop? My daughter is strting college.soon,doesn’t hv a lot of $$ to spend on a computer and am wondering if a netbook is the way to go for doing .assignments,checking email,surfing the web,listening to music etc?? Would like some opinions on this…also,which ones are the best and not expensive? Thanks!!

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